The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has written to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), alleging more than N2 billion fraud against the management of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the petition, which was jointly signed by the Ibadan Zone Chairmen of ASUU, Dr Ade Adejumo, and the University of Ibadan chairman, Dr Deji Omole, indicted the former Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede – now the registrar of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) – and the incumbent Abdulganiyu Ambali, in a fraud totalling more than N2 billion.
Other signatories are: Dr Biodun Olaniran of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Dr Dauda Adeshina, Kwara State University, and Dr Kayode Afolayan of the University of Ilorin.
The union further labelled the University of Ilorin management as one of the most corrupt in any higher institution.
It was stated in the petition that the institution has been operating under the pretext of keeping stable academic calendar to silence whistle blowers while perpetrating enormous fraud.
The allegations listed in the petition included pension fraud, unremitted deductions, extortion from students, contract inflation and kick-backs; as well as unlawful payments to ex-principal officers of the university.
Adejumo urged the EFCC to investigate the “monumental fraud perpetrated by the past and present administrations of the university.’’
They said the former vice chancellor, in 2011, doubled the amount of pension being deducted from staff under the pretext that the previous deductions were lower than prescribed in law.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the legal minimum prescribed by Pension Act at the time was 7.5 of emoluments and the staff were already paying even above this minimum. By way of comparison, in federal universities such as University of Lagos( UNILAG) and Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife the sum of N20,124.62 is deducted from each professor as pension contribution per month.
“However, at UNILORIN the sum of N40,206.42 is deducted monthly for the same “pension contribution”. Contrary to law, the extra deductions did not derive from any agreement with the workers; indeed, the forced deductions were protested to no avail. For the avoidance of doubt, the pension law does not empower an employer to forcefully deduct above the minimum from any employee. ”
“But the management pushed out the argument, through their cronies that whatever amount is deducted for pensions would be automatically doubled and that the deductions were, therefore, “for our benefit.” The import of this is that government is being made, perhaps unknowingly, to pay double the amounts prescribed by law, to the Pension Fund Administrators and the subscribers, thereby constituting an unwarranted extortion or drain on the treasury. The quantum involved in this fraud is in billions and is continuing”, it stated.
The petitioners also alleged a fraud of N1.5billion jointly perpetrated by the immediate past vice chancellor and the incumbent on fraudulent and unremitted deductions from staff salaries.
“Having given the impression of assisting the workers by extorting more from the treasury than the law prescribes, the UNILORIN authorities now set out to defraud the same workers by making additional deductions from their salaries under false pretext.
“From May 2012 to December 2013, the University of Ilorin Administration deducted further sums ranging from about N9,000 – N20,000 monthly from each staff claiming these to be “arrears of extra-deduction.” However, these extra deductions never reflected in the pension statements of the staff concerned to date. The quantum involved in this fraud is in the neighbourhood of N1.5 billion.
“Our preliminary investigations revealed that billions of naira have been so extorted from about 35,000 students including Sandwich students over the past years.The group of graduating medical students actually wrote to the authorities to demand a refund but they were ignored.”
The union, therefore, called on the EFCC to do a diligent and thorough investigation of the allegations, adding that if such was done, the anti-corruption agency would discover a can of worms.
A copy of the petition was stamped by the EFCC as received on December 29, 2016.